The capital of Croatia is overflowing with culture; from its magnificent medieval city walls to some of the most innovative seafood restaurants in the world, exploring Dubrovnik is nothing less than a joy. While friendly locals will love to give you their personal recommendations, it can get a little overwhelming to plan two days in the city.

So, to help you out, here is the perfect itinerary if you only have 48 hours in Dubrovnik.

Day 1

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Be up and out early for your first day in Dubrovnik – there is so much for you to see and do and experience! Start your 48 hours with a stop at the historical Cafe Festival for breakfast and your morning coffee fix. Located near the Franciscan monastery in the heart of Dubrovnik’s old town, this is one of the most charming spots in the city.

If you are interested, the Franciscan Monastery and Pharmacy houses one of the world’s oldest pharmacies, a museum with pharmacy artefacts and an excellent collection of medieval artworks.

After breakfast, head to Pile Gate, as walking around the city walls is the best way to introduce yourself to this stunning medieval city. Built in 1537, originally the drawbridge that is connected to the gate would be raised every evening, the gate locked, and the key delivered to the minister. Now it remains open (as long as you pay your 100kn!) and provides you with the perfect viewing points to gasp at the blue-sea-blue-sky horizon, and Dubrovnik’s iconic yellowing church towers. A complete circuit of the walls is a mile and a quarter and will take you well over an hour to complete. The walls open up to visitors at 8 am.

Continue your introduction to Dubrovnik with a visit to the Cultural History Museum, located inside Rector’s Palace. A 15th-century palace, here you can take a glimpse at portraits of local aristocrats, and their belongings, coats of arms and coins. The museum and its displays evoke the glorious history from back in the day when Dubrovnik was the prosperous Republic of Ragusa (1358 to 1808).

After you have walked up and down the seemingly never-ending stairs (the walls are not the place for those with limited mobility) and around the Palace, you will be ready for lunch!

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Luckily, I have just the recommendation for you! That is if you are interested in dining 405 meters up Mount Srdj. Accessible by foot, car or the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Panorama Restaurant offers unparalleled views of Dubrovnik, the sea and islands (and pretty incredible food). The menu is comprised of fresh seafood and steak, and the chefs pride themselves on using local and seasonal produce as much as possible. To be honest, this is a trendy restaurant. So, it is to your advantage to make a reservation at least four to five days in advance, particularly if you want to dine at Sunset and have a table by the window.

Depending on how much you eat and drink, you could potentially hike back down to the old town! It is a lot of fun, as long as you remember your walking shoes! Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay the high prices for Panorama, bring your own packed lunch up on the cable car, eat it overlooking the view, and then get your exercise in by hiking down the foothills of the mountain.

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The HBO series “Game of Thrones” is what put Dubrovnik on the map for many people (as it often films here) and the Game of Thrones Tour is now one of the most popular tourist activities in the city. Your guide (usually an extra from the show) leads you around the city, showing locations from Little Finger’s Brothel to Blackwater Bay. During the high season, the walking tour runs daily and lasts around two hours. There are a couple of different tour companies who offer these tours, so look for information outside the Pile Gate.

To ensure you are getting a well-rounded impression of the region, head to War Photo Ltd., a gallery dedicated to war photojournalism. Its stated intention is to ‘expose the myth of war…to let people see war as it is, raw, venal, frightening, by focusing on how war inflicts injustices on innocents and combatants alike’. Along with a permanent exhibition devoted to the wars in Yugoslavia, the displays are rotated to show work from a variety of conflicts.

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For dinner, Lokanda-Peskarija (Mea Culpa Dubrovnik), is a budget-priced, delicious seafood restaurant located right in the main port. Another favorite spot (thanks to the freshness and the price tag) for locals, head over there early to ensure you can find a seat! Although, they do have a fantastic outdoor terrace that certainly isn’t the worst place in the world to spend some time!

While you may be exhausted from all of today’s walking, you will be annoyed with yourself if you miss out on Dubrovnik’s incredible nightlife. Old Town, with its hip pavement cafes and atmospheric bars, is where you should head tonight. Whether you fancy beers, Croatian wines, or fancy cocktails, you are sure to find something to suit down the narrow alleyways. Allow yourself to wander!

That being said, Wine Bar Dingac Skaramuca is right off of the Old Town square and is stocked with local wines that are perfectly paired with cheese and snacks. D’vino Wine Bar is another option for sampling the best domestic wines.

Day 2

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Croatians usually start their days with a light breakfast of coffee and a pastry. Dubrovnik’s medieval promenade, Stradun, is lined with bakeries and is the ideal area to get yourself a treat and people watch! Take the time to pay attention to what the city feels like early in the morning, enjoy the hustle and bustle of locals prepping for their day ahead.

This afternoon you are going to have a picnic at the beach; so, a stop at Gundulićeva Poljana, the open-air market in Old Town, is necessary to stock up on what you and your travel companions are craving. Here you’ll find seasonal fruit and veg, nuts, olive oil and homemade preserves.

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From here, start the 20 minutes’ walk to the very beautiful and very chilled Sveti Jakov beach. Despite its proximity to the city, it remains far more secluded than some of the other city beaches, almost guaranteeing that you will have a relaxing time.

After a few hours of reading, tanning (sunscreen!), and swimming, walk over to Buza, a “hole in the wall” (literally) café that overlooks the sea, for a well-deserved cocktail. If you are lucky, the sun will continue glowing until late evening, shining down onto the Old Town.

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If you are visiting Dubrovnik during the warmer months of May until October, consider having your last meal at Villa Ruža. You will hop on a boat to escape the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik and head to another island called Koločep. Here Villa Ruža offers delicious Mediterranean cuisine and is an experience you will never forget.

Alternatively, consider splurging on some of the best seafood you will ever have at Nautika, Proto, or Orsan. For vegetarians, Nishta is a fabulous option.

And those are our recommendations for how to spend 48 hours in Dubrovnik! Have you been to the city before? What were your “must-dos”? If you haven’t been, what is stopping you?!

Let us know in the comments below!